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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UTA Volleyball team will open a season-long five-match road swing with a pair of weekend matches, facing defending league champion Coastal Carolina on Friday at 5:30 p.m. CT and Appalachian State on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
UTA (7-8, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) opened its conference schedule with a split of a home weekend last week, earning a four-set win over Troy and suffering a four-set loss to South Alabama. The Mavs will kick off their road portion of the schedule at Coastal on Friday and at App State on Sunday and after a brief return to Arlington, UTA will hit the road for three straight, at Arkansas State, Little Rock and Texas State.
The Mavs have totaled a .198 attacking percentage as a team, with 12.1 kills, 11.3 assists and 14.5 digs per set. UTA ranks fifth in the league in hitting percentage and sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.205). UTA has been paced offensively by senior Qiana Canete, who has averaged 3.38 kills and three digs per set. Junior Zhanelle Geathers has hit .194 with a team-high .367 kills per set, adding a career-high 70 digs. Freshman setter Kailyn Gilbreath paces the club with 8.94 assists per set, adding 1.78 digs per set. Sophomores Madison McConnell and Kylie Jedlicka are each averaging over 1.70 kills per set, with McConnell leading the team with 0.62 blocks per set and Jedlicka charting 2.35 digs per set. Junior libero Libbie Vickers has averaged 3.38 digs per set with sophomore libero Madelyn St. Germain sporting a team-high 3.48 digs per set.
In the Sun Belt, McConnell ranks eighth in hitting percentage, with Geathers ranking third in the league in kills and Canete fourth. Gilbreath checks in fifth in the Sun Belt in assists.
Coastal Carolina (5-6, 2-0 Sun Belt) opened both of its matches in defensive of its regular-season conference championship last weekend in four-set wins, besting Arkansas State and Little Rock on the road. The Chants have played a challenging schedule, with losses to TCU, Iowa (twice), FAU, Duke and No. 24 North Carolina.
CCU is hitting for a .234 percentage as a team, with 12.90 kills, 12.24 assists and 14.32 digs per set. The Chants have been led offensively by Kyla Manning, who has 2.05 kills per set, with Sara Boothe sporting a team-high 5.97 assists per set and Sydney Alvis owning 3.5 digs per set.
Appalachian State (6-10, 1-1 Sun Belt) enters the weekend after a split in their two road matches last week. The Mountaineers posted a win over Little Rock in five sets and took defending league champion Arkansas State to five sets in a loss in Jonesboro, Ark. App. State is hitting .174 as a team with 12.3 kills, 11.6 assists and 15.8 digs per set. Emma Longley has a team-high 3.46 kills per set, with Amanda Krahl leading the team with 6.33 assists per set and Olivia Loeffler sporting a team-high 3.70 digs per set.
UTA is 3-3 all-time vs. Appalachian State with all three wins coming away from Boone, N.C. The Mavs are 0-3 all-time in Boone. UTA lost its only meeting with Coastal Carolina in 2016 in Arlington.
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